World Press Freedom Day – May 3, 2021

World Press Freedom Day – May 3, 2021

UNESCO
World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good”
In the midst of a pandemic, the media could be a force for good, truth and actually help save lives. Do you think they’ve done that?

We’ve certainly seen some really really bad examples of what that freedom entails. But some reporters have stood up for their traditions and practice. They’ve been in the trenches with protestors, in war theatres, and gone to jail to tell an important story.
Sure there are those who make the field look bad. But today, let’s ask media what it takes to be a good journalist. Let’s ask ourselves what we should be looking for from them.

Pandemic Response – Toronto Hospitals are Overwhelmed

Pandemic Response – Toronto Hospitals are Overwhelmed

Finally the Ontario govt is calling out for help as our hospitals are overwhelmed, esp in Toronto. Ontario alone has almost half of Canada’s cases. Mostly due to Ford’s incompetence and grand-standing. And he has up till now refused every federal offer of help just so he could Trudeau-bash. Maybe his staffer coming down with the virus and Ford having to isolate has finally brought the point home to him that he could get it too?

…….

but help is arriving.

  • Healthcare workers from Newfoundland and Labrador arrive at Pearson International Airport. The team of nine will be helping to treat COVID-19 patients in hard hit Toronto hospitals
  • three doctors and six critical care nurses,
  • The Canadian Armed Forces to deploy nine ICU nurses and up to three multipurpose medical assistance teams in the province as well, though it is unclear when they will arrive.
  • Public Safety Minister Bill Blair also said on Tuesday that 62 health professionals from the federal government have volunteered to help in Ontario hospitals, including doctors and nurses who work in prisons or for Indigenous Services Canada.
  • a temporary field hospital that was set up on the grounds of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre earlier this month has now begun accepting patient transfers,

…..

How does this happen in a G7 nation with socialized medicine? It takes one word since no other premier has allowed things to get this bad…… FORD.

What Do You Think Feminism Is?

What Do You Think Feminism Is?

Practically every day there is some feminist discussion, or at least pro-women discussion online.

Things like: pay gaps, pink ghettoes, birthing rights/body autonomy, women in the work force, unpaid work/domestic life and caring,…. I could go on and on.

And every woman in these discussions has an opinion. As do many men, whether it’s their place or not.

Some of the discussion turns into fights because we disagree on what it means to be a feminist.

I guess my distinction between feminism and pro-women is:

  • Feminism is about the collective effort women make to have a seat at the power table. To help enact laws and vote for things that affect women and to have a voice in that process. To rep ourselves.
  • Being pro-women means supporting and encouraging women to live their best life. To make their own choices for themselves and those they love. Lifting them up. Meeting them where they are and helping them make their own decisions.

Do you think I have it right? Is there a common definition? What do you have to say?

Q for Women, LGBTQ+, & BIPOC in Kink

Q for Women, LGBTQ+, & BIPOC in Kink

Whether shaping the community you practice in, or working with your partner(s), do you think you have an easier or tougher time of it than your peers do?

  • Do you have as much access to the power table?
  • Do you get asked to ‘serve’ vs ‘lead’?
  • Do you get asked to exhibit or speak at functions?
  • Do you feel taken advantage of at times?
  • Is your voice repped and heard by the community?
  • Are you in the majority or one of the few?
  • Is there a big difference between your share of the power and influence in kink and in your vanilla relationships?

Something to mull over or answer if you wish.

Positing an Ethics Question –

Positing an Ethics Question –

Think about it or answer it. Up to you.

Q – If you knew that in your grandchild or great grandchild’s time there would be a major extinction event, like a comet hitting earth, what would you do?

Do you have a skill set you can offer, money, connections to either?

Do you feel any responsibility to stopping or mitigating that event?

Responsibility – Where are you in the power structure?

Responsibility – Where are you in the power structure?

When was the last time that the world order was changed for bad or good? We’ve had some minor edits, but TBH last one was when the United Nations was formed. Some aims have been focused on, like the Paris Agreement on the environment. But yeah we’ve been kind of stuck in limbo since 24 October 1945. And that is an ongoing political hot mess in many ways that may need some re-structuring.

The same countries have the biggest wedges of the power pie and no matter how they behave, guess who keeps their power? They do. Guess who benefits from their relationship? Those with the most power of course. Some sections do trade seats, but the primary seats stay in the same hands. So things are run in a way that suits them.

Then we have the corporatocracy. The large companies that are multi-national. They have no place that taxes or controls them. Or even sees to their workers’ wage, safety and welfare. No one who oversees their product or it’s safety. At best, a country can refuse to allow it’s sales within their borders. But that does more harm than good to the country when they aren’t competing with other countries at par.

Each nation is responsible for their people and culture. Thru trade and tourism, they provide for their people. They offer media, which for the most part isn’t in-country. There are multi-national chains that want franchise space in as many towns as they can get. And somehow the country has to protect it’s own identity and citizens. Offer something unique so people with disposable income will want to travel there.

And finally, the people. They live in cities or villages for the most part, where they are policed into acceptable behaviour by doctors, social workers and police officers. And if they attend a cultural club or temple of some form, their leaders. They also have to follow the directions of their employers and colleagues.

So when someone suggests that little guy Joe or Jane has power or influence? It’s pretty naive. Yes, you could vote for another party. But does that actually change things like the amount of your salary that actually stays in your control? Like who polices you and your children?

And we do have a certain amount of drives and fears that influence us, bonds that hold us to our groups and we aren’t all well. So sometimes we act up.

So if someone comes along and asks us to follow their philosophy, can we? Maybe. But sooner or later, we’re going to hit a road block, aren’t we?

And that’s not affecting the poor, the frail or the elders of our nations, whether that nation is rich or poor, advanced or third world.

And each country has it’s pecking order of people/groups that they sabotage and try to control or assimilate into the larger order. Based on biases like race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, class/caste, education….Very few make it to the top of that hierarchy.

Then we have to start the list over again.

The pandemic is showing us that the world needs changing. but are we doing anything to change? At all?

Money – Who Shares It?

Money – Who Shares It?

Rich person
Poor person
Beggar or thief
Who will share
their last dollar with me?

I’ve seen this question on other sites a lot recently as during a pandemic many are told they cannot work and they don’t know how long it’ll be till their next pay check. So I wonder what our thoughts are here?

If you want to get beyond a guess, into macro-systems, do you believe in trickle down economics? Do you think charity is a viable system?

This is something we need to reflect on as the climate gets worse. More systems we now have will crash, crops will be destroyed by storms, more and more people will need to migrate.

Those factors will lead to more deaths. More starvation, fewer vaccines. And we will need to do more than think about how few cents a day they would have needed to survive and why when this is already happening are we not working to change things before it gets worse?

Has the Covid 19 pandemic taught us anything? Malaria hasn’t. AIDS hasn’t. But this pandemic is coming to our doors, our loved ones are more at risk than ever. So do we care now?

Rich person
Poor person
Beggar or thief
Who will share
their last dollar with me?

Deontology and Utilitarianism – When Viewing the World & Looking for Justice and Morality

Deontology and Utilitarianism – When Viewing the World & Looking for Justice and Morality

In order to discuss moral philosophy, sometimes you have to be a Pollyanna. You have to presume that everyone has the same idea of what morality is, and the same desire to act on that knowledge.

Most of the world’s religions do have a basic ideal set that is similar to what you learned in kinder-garden.

  • Be kind,
  • be respectful,
  • share with others,
  • take turns….
    But that doesn’t always make it into practice when feelings about your history with your neighbouring cultures come up. And then there are the ‘others’. people you have always been told worship your devils and listening to them will take you straight to hell. So you basically get a free pass for however you treat them, no matter how evil.

Or do you? Well your priest and temple sycophants would say you do…. but does basic morality and do your gods?

And it also presumes that everyone adheres to these beliefs and morals to the same level.

As well it presumes that everyone has the same motives, and that they’re well intended. That this person before you will actually consider your needs at all, let alone put them above their needs. That is in fact a pretty rare person.

So how do governors and priests rule the great unwashed and actually find a path where if they aren’t meeting everyone’s needs they at least aren’t harming anyone?

I wish I had an answer. It isn’t something anyone has found yet. In all of human time.

Deontology

Kant argued that we can only have knowledge of things we can experience.
“What can I know?” Kant replies that we can know the natural, observable world, but we cannot, however, have answers to many of the deepest questions of metaphysics.
“What should I do?” Kant replies that we should act rationally, in accordance with a universal moral law.
Kant also argued that his ethical theory requires belief in free will, God, and the immortality of the soul. Although we cannot have knowledge of these things, reflection on the moral law leads to a justified belief in them, which amounts to a kind rational faith. Thus in answer to the question, “What may I hope?” Kant replies that we may hope that our souls are immortal and that there really is a God who designed the world in accordance with principles of justice. source

Utilitarianism

Peter Singer:
“if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.”
source

The Use of Humour – Does it Add to or Deflect Hate?

The Use of Humour – Does it Add to or Deflect Hate?

Some people’s go-to is humour. It’s how they deal with darker emotions, and with serious topics. And most people would say that is a good thing.

But is it always?

When you’re an insider to a culture, gender, sexuality, race…. (esp one that is currently being targeted) and crack wise, are you teaching haters the tools to hate you better? Informing them? Or are you reclaiming the discussion with your own? Defusing the pain the haters have caused you?

If it’s an inner circle discussion, then the answer is far easier than if you are speaking before a crowd of strangers you have no idea what their views are about your group.
So do you step more carefully? Or throw it to the wind and hope for a good outcome?

Is it ever acceptable to use this type of self-deprecating humour on social media? Where anyone could see it and use it against you? By re-blogging it away from the thread you control to their domain? To their followers?

I think it has to be a struggle to toe this line. It’s even hard deciding which jokes to love or comment on, let alone being the creator of them.

Many say that humour is supposed to be open to the worst and best of us, as is all art. But at what point do we say, ya know, maybe you shouldn’t say that.

Those who cry foul are often called snowflakes. Or SJWs. But are they?

This is 21C and eventually we do have to show we can be civilized. Shouldn’t we start by policing our own?

As a woman, I know there are jokes I won’t engage in or I will call out.

And what about the turnabout? If I as a woman engage in male-bashing humour, am I spreading a hate that I can’t reel back in? Because I think there is already enough anger between men and women without adding fuel to the fire. Or as the gender who isn’t in power now and hasn’t been for centuries, is it ok for me to tear down those in power? Maybe yes to the institution of patriarchy, but no to the men?

I think it’s a challenge to work around and I don’t envy comedians for traversing it. No matter what you do, you’re wrong to someone. I guess the weight is how much harm are you doing to those who are already frail? Are you adding to the hate, to their burden?

Witness – Are you really confessing?

Witness – Are you really confessing?

IDK if you ever got a chance to watch the Guantanamo Interrogations?
Omar
Or the CIA tapes
Obama

But that is for terrorists you’d say, and considering what they’d do to us maybe not so bad? Well actually they weren’t terrorists, they were SUSPECTED terrorists. How long would you hold up to their techniques before saying anything you thought they wanted you to?

But how bad would it be if a police officer was doing the interrogation? Would they go to such lengths?
the Reid Technique
ACLU That’s a good question. No suspect has ever been disappeared or been bruised while in police care, have they?
ACLU – community paper

The research is being gathered on what can be ethically done to solicit a confession and what has to be done to verify the ‘facts’ gathered. And the researchers have serious concerns about whether confessions should be used at all.

…… resources

  • Accusatorial Interrogations
  • Information-Gathering Interviews – need of verifiable data
    source

…….

  • accusatory questioning often provoked false confessions.
    Factors such as mental impairment, youth, and substance addiction make people quicker to doubt their own memory and, under pressure, to confess,
    “persuaded” confessions in which a suspect, worn down by hours of interrogation, goes into a fugue and begins to believe their own guilt. The problem is especially pronounced among adolescents like Burton, who are both impressionable and cowed by authority.
    Kassin and several colleagues from the United States and United Kingdom wrote an American Psychological Association white paper warning about the risk of coercion. They suggested several reforms, such as prohibiting lying by police, limiting interrogation time, recording all interrogations from start to finish, and eliminating the use of minimization. They also said the practice of seeking confessions was so inherently damaging that it might be necessary to “completely reconceptualize” the tactic and come up with something new. source

…….

individuals with high human and social capital (e.g., income, employment, intimate partner, and children) have more at stake and, therefore, have more to lose in confessing a crime.

Regarding the suspect’s criminological characteristics, several studies revealed that a confession was more likely to be obtained from a suspect without a criminal background. Offenders who have had prior contact with the criminal justice system would be less likely to confess because they have some knowledge of their procedural rights. Other studies reported the opposite finding.

Contextual factors might influence the offender’s decision to confess have mainly focused on the role of legal advice, the strength of police evidence, and the offender’s sense of guilt at the time of interrogation.
The suspect’s perception of the strength of police evidence has been emphasized as one of the most important factors influencing the suspect’s decision to confess to police. source

…….

Compared to adults, youth are particularly vulnerable to providing false confessions . Characteristics associated with typical adolescent development may be related to this enhanced risk, including, for example, heightened suggestibility, susceptibility to social influence, and immaturity of judgment. Furthermore, adolescents tend to weigh immediate rewards more heavily than the potential long- term negative consequences of their actions. When combined with police use of psychologically manipulative and high pressure interrogation techniques, these characteristics may lead some youth to make false confessions. source

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